Driving is a rite of passage for most American teenagers. In many states, 16-years-old is the age during which driving becomes a new and amazing experience for teens, giving them freedom like never before. Unfortunately, according to the latest available information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. This is why so much time and effort is put into training and licensing new teen drivers. This is also why the rules are so strict when it comes to Illinois’ graduated driver licensing (GDL) program. In certain circumstances, your teen could face a loss of driving privileges depending on what they do.

Understanding the GDL Program

Like in most states, Illinois’ GDL program consists of three phases: the permit phase, the initial licensing phase and the full licensing phase. Each phase has specific requirements that must be followed and sanctions that will be utilized if violations are accumulated. In some cases, it is possible to have your driving privileges suspended or revoked for certain offenses when the driver is under the age of 21.

The Permit Phase: The first phase is the permit phase and can begin as early as a teen’s fifteenth birthday. During this phase, which lasts for a minimum of nine months, the parent or guardian of the teen must be in the vehicle with them while they are driving. During this phase, drivers are not permitted to acquire any moving violations, or they must wait an additional nine months until they can move to the initial licensing phase. If the teen was driving without a permit, they are not eligible to drive until they are 18. Additionally, teens who violate nighttime driving restrictions can have their driving privileges suspended.

The Initial Licensing Phase: Next, the initial licensing phase begins, which allows teens to drive without a parent or guardian. Adolescents under the age of 18 are only permitted to have one other person under the age of 20 in their vehicle with them if their parent or guardian is not present. If the teen is convicted of a moving violation within the first year of licensing, there is a six-month extension to that passenger restriction. Two moving violation convictions will result in a minimum one-month suspension, with the actual length of suspension depending on the severity and seriousness of the violations. Each additional violation will result in an additional license suspension.

The Full Licensing Phase: The final phase is the full licensing phase, which is similar to a person having a normal driver’s license. Drivers who are ages 18, 19 or 20 fall into this category because they are still subject to certain laws because of their age. These young adults are only permitted one sentence of court supervision for a serious driving offense during this time. Any other violations are not eligible for supervision. If the young adult has two or more convictions for moving violations within a 24-month period, they face a minimum one-month license suspension.

Is Your Child Facing Traffic Violations? A DuPage County Teen Driver Defense Attorney Can Help

Gaining the ability to drive is a dream that many Illinois teenagers have. If your teen is not careful, however, they could have their driver’s license suspended or even revoked in some situations. At Myers Law LLC, we understand how important it is for your teen to have that independence. If your teen has gotten themselves into trouble with the law, you should immediately speak with a skilled Oak Brook, IL teen driver defense lawyer. Call us today at 844-9-THE-LAW to set up a free, 15-minute phone consultation.